Early Childhood Special Education at BHSU


The Early Childhood Special Education major at Black Hills State University provides the opportunity to acquire training and certification needed to work with children ages birth through eight. Students learn strategies for reaching each individual child and connecting with families to enhance learning.

This major prepares students to work in public schools, state early intervention programs, private schools, or in nationally recognized early childhood developmental centers.


  • Study with BHSU early childhood education faculty who are strong advocates for children with typical and atypical educational needs.
  • Get involved with student organizations that support the learning goals of this program.
  • Gain early childhood experience at the BHSU Little Jackets Learning Center.

Early Childhood Education Minor Requirements

23 semester hours

  • ECE 328 Guidance with Young Children
  • ECE 411 Social Development in Early Childhood
  • ECE 413 Early Childhood Curriculum
  • ECE 417 Methods of Early Childhood Education
  • ECE 495 Practicum
  • EPSY 428 Child & Adolescent Development
  • SPED 300 Students with Exceptionalities
  • SPED 460 Family Systems and Professional Collaboration

Early Childhood Special Education Major Course Requirements

Required Core - 6 semester hours

  • 3 HIST 151 - United States History I
  • 3 HIST 152 - United States History II
  • 3 PSYC 101 - General Pyschology

Pre-Professional Core - 30 semester hours

  • ECE 228 Guidance with Young Children & 228L Lab
  • EDFN 338 Foundations of American Education
  • ELED 303 Earth & Physical Science for Elementary Teachers
  • ELED 315 Foundations & Theories of Reading
  • EPSY 302 Educational Psychology
  • HLTH 321 K-8 Methods of Teaching Health
  • INED 411 South Dakota Indian Studies
  • LIBM 205 Children's Literature
  • MATH 341 Math Concepts for Teachers I
  • SPED 100 Intro to Persons with Exceptionalities
  • SPED 460 Family Systems & Professional Collaboration

Professional Core - 54 semester hours

  • ECE 371 Infants and Toddlers: Developmentally Appropriate Practices
  • ECE 408 Assessment in Early Childhood Special Education
  • ECE 411 Social Development in Early Childhood
  • ECE 413 Early Childhood Curriculum
  • ECE 417 Methods of Early Childhood Education
  • ECE 495 Practicum
  • EDFN 365 Computer Based Technology & Learning
  • ELED 320 K-8 Science Methods
  • ELED 330 K-8 Math Methods
  • ELED 360 K-8 Social Science Methods
  • ELED 408 Plan, Manage, and Assess the Diverse K-8 Classroom
  • ELED 440 K-8 Language Arts Methods
  • ELED 450 K-8 Reading Methods
  • ELED 459 Intro to Literacy Assessment & Remediation
  • ELED 495 Practicum: Pre-Student Teaching
  • SPED 406 Introduction to Assistive Technology
  • SPED 410 Behavior Management of Exceptional Children
  • SPED 413 Students with MR, DD & Severe Disabilites
  • SPED 431 Identification and Assessment in Special Education
  • Take the following courses your last semester:
  • EDFN 475 Human Relations
  • ECE 486 Early Childhood/Special Ed Student Teach: Preschool
  • ECE 488 Student Teaching

Global Requirement: depending on your selection, this requirement will satisfy 3 hours of either Social Science or Arts & Humanities requirements. Take 1 course from: AIS/HIST 257, ANTH 210, ARTH 211/212/251, ENGL 211/212, GEOG 210, HIST 121/122/153, HUM 100, MCOM 151, POLS 141/250

Don’t worry about whether or not you can be involved; worry about which of the several options to join and take part in.  You will have internships and field experiences integrated into the curriculum and requirements of the early childhood special education major, and work at the campus daycare center to acquire both experience and a paying job Internships and field experiences are an important part of our program and are coordinated by the faculty.  Students spend a minimum of 45 hours in the classrooms during their sophomore year, 100 hours during their junior year, and end their program with a 16-week student teaching experience. 

Several student organizations are at your fingertips, such as:

  • Honors Program
    The BHSU Honors Program provides a basis for social activities and represents the university and its honors program positively to prospective students, their families, and the general public.
  • Kappa Delta Pi
    An honor organization that promotes excellence and recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of education.
  • Reading Council
    Provides professional development opportunities for individuals interested in issues about reading and literacy.

Career Opportunities

Early Childhood Special Education majors are able to find careers in a variety of fields:

  • Public School Teacher
  • Private School Teacher
  • State Early Intervention Programs
  • Nationally Recognized Early Childhood Developmental Centers